As part of an artist-in-residence program of the Olympics, French artist JR created new installations taking place all over Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Olympic Games.
The idea is to photograph athletes whose identity is blurred behind the “perfect motion” from an instantly recognisable Olympic event: diving, the high jump and the swimming section of the triathlon.
Rather than working with star athletes whose success makes them household names, JR is interested in athletes who are little-known in the eyes of the world yet sublimate the physical language of sport and thus form a distillation of the universality of the Olympic movement.
The images obtained are thus being installed in black and white on ultra-large scaffolds which themselves form an integral part of the installation, being the only things capable of supporting such large pictures. Each installation offers a plurality of viewpoints from both up close and far away.
The three Giants are in Flamengo, Botafogo and Barra da Tijuca.
The installation below portrays Mohamed, a Sudanese athlete who couldn’t make it to the Games because of an injury. He still came to Rio and jumps over a building in Flamengo. The installation can be found in aterro do Flamengo and the best point to see it is in front of the former Porcão s Rio.
Here is a piece in the water in Botafogo Bay in Rio portraying French triathlete PERIAULT Leonie swimming in the city.
The photo below shows the work in progress on top of Casa Amarela in Rio. The cultural house JR started 9 years ago on top of Favela Morro da Providencia. It will become a room for Artists in residence that will come to give classes there. Speaking of Casa Amarela JR says “Even the drug dealers, when they walk by with their Kalashnikovs, they just stop and look.”